Upgrade skills or quit, doctors, nurses told

December 24, 2013 - 3:07:56 am

DOHA: Doctors, nurses and other healthcare practitioners in Qatar who don’t upgrade themselves through continuous education and training would  fail  to get their licences renewed.

In two years, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) will be making it mandatory for all healthcare practitioners, working in the public and private sectors to go through internationally accepted training programmes and obtain a minimum required score every year as a condition for renewing their licence.

The Accreditation Department at the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners (QCHP) is the sole regulator of the international training programmes in Qatar that are known as CME (continuous medical education) and CPD (continuous professional development).

By 2016, all healthcare practitioners will be required to keep sufficient CPD  credits to get their annual licences renewed, the SCH said.  “This is an important move to improve the quality of healthcare in the country by forcing the practitioners to continuously upgrade their skills and knowledge. There are a variety of CMC and CPD programmes, including  online training modules that the practitioners can choose from.  Qatar University is one of the accredited CMC/CPD centres in Qatar,” Dr Jamal Rashid Al Khanji, Acting Chief Executive Officer of QCHP  told this daily yesterday.

QCHP is responsible for licensing all healthcare practitioners in the country in the private and public sectors.

As a pilot project to help the practitioners use the online CME modules, the Accreditation Department  is providing free access to the internationally recognised  BMJ  Online Learning  website for all practitioners, for three months.

During the trial phase, the online training modules will be accessible  to  doctors and nurses at the Al Ahli and Al Emadi hospitals but later they will be extended to all healthcare practitioners in all sectors, the SCH said in a separate statement yesterday. 

The BMJ website provides an opportunity for healthcare practitioners to develop their skills through several educational modules including clinical and non-clinical healthcare related skills. 

“Completing online modules in this trial will entitle participants to claim CME/CPD credit units (CUs) designated for each module. This will help healthcare practitioners not only to cover the gaps in their knowledge and skills but also to be trained on how to plan for, grant, fulfil and keep sufficient CPD credit units that will be mandated by the year 2016, for their annual re-licensing and recertification in Qatar,” said the statement.

The department has introduced a national CME/CPD accreditation framework with the aim of developing and implementing an internationally-recognisable system for accreditation of health professional education in the country. This would help in promoting knowledge, competence and performance of healthcare practitioners and improve the quality of patient care, the SCH said.

The CME/CPD system encourages healthcare practitioners to pursue a variety of educational activities and resources appropriate to their practice available in face to face and online  formats and with set requirements from the QCHP. 

A commonly used resource for CME/CPD, that is yet to be introduced to Qatar, is the accredited online CME libraries, added the statement.

The Peninsula

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